Anza gardens harvest produce

Myracle, granddaughter of Carletta Gorden-Stokes, hugs her homegrown pumpkin. Anza Valley Outlook/Courtesy photo

With autumn’s arrival, Anza gardens harvest a bounty of fruits and vegetables. Favorite and easy-to-grow vegetable varieties include zucchini, squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, peppers and greens such as lettuce and spinach.

Most Anza gardeners prefer organic methods, using manures, teas and compost to provide nourishment for their plants. As the gardens thrive, natural pest control is used, including helpful predatory insects like ladybugs and mantids and bagging ripening fruit.

Gardening requires care, planning and repetition.

Carletta Gordon-Stokes creates a salad of homegrown tomatoes, cucumbers and greens. Anza Valley Outlook/Courtesy photo
Ripening tomatoes are held in secure bags to prevent predation by pests. Anza Valley Outlook/Courtesy photo
Jennifer Dieter displays her bounty of corn, peppers, tomatoes and beans. Anza Valley Outlook/Courtesy photo

“It’s my peaceful place,” Carletta Gordon-Stokes said.

She raises tomatoes, greens, cucumbers and more in her small outdoor plot and with her indoor Tower Garden.

Jennifer Deiter has made use of a small greenhouse to protect her blossoming plants from predators and weather. Corn, tomatoes, cabbage and peppers thrive under her care.

As the harvest comes in, produce is shared between neighbors and friends, and canning, dehydrating and freezing commences.

Diane Sieker can be reached by email at